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Old 08-14-2006
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Close Quarter Manoeuvring - Shoal or Deep Keel

Can anyone share their opinion/experience with close quarter manoeuvring with a shoal keel vs. deep keel.

I've noticed several of the new production boats at our club with short drafts 4-5 feet seem more skittish in moderate winds, and more prone to drift almost like a powerboat.

I'm sure the windage of these boats is a factor but wonder how much the keel has to do with it.
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Old 08-14-2006
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Question what kind of sailboats ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor-man
...I've noticed several of the new production boats at our club with short drafts 4-5 feet seem more skittish in moderate winds, and more prone to drift almost like a powerboat.
...
Sailorman, I'm curious about this observaton. Can you tell us what keel boats drift "almost like a powerboat" ? I can see a maybe a MacGregor 26 doing that since it's more of a powerboat hull than a sailboat, but what seriious keel boats are you talking about ? Or are you talking about a displacement powerboat ?

I've sailed keelboats down to about 3' draft and still not had the kind of experience that you describe. Having a displacement hull combined with a keel automatically puts a sailboat of even shallow draft into another handling characteristic than a typical powerboat.
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Old 08-15-2006
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Some multihulls will have that problem. I know my trimaran does, unless I have the centerboard down at least a third of the way.
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Old 08-15-2006
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Catalina 350 and Beneteau 343 with shoal drafts. Both present a lot of windage that could also be a factor ... but interested in any observations.
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Old 08-15-2006
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I have been on both and know the 350 very well.

Let me just state my experience:

Big fat keels are more succeptible to currents. However, like a paddle in the water, they make act as a opposing force in the wind. Also, a heavy keel increases the diplacement of the boat. Heavier boats are not pushed as easy by the wind.

All that being said, it is the current and the wind that will make the difference versus the keel type. The 350 especially is a very wide body boat that has a lot of wind area to push it around.
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I have been sailing a 350 for four years (including four hours today) on the Chesapeake Bay, where the winds tend to be moderate, and have not experienced anything close to this.
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My Cat36 is great until a 5kt crosswind hits her while I'm pulling into a finger dock.

My Cat27? can turn her on a dime, and back in, with a 30kt crosswind. It could have a lot to do with the barn door rudder and A4 @ 30hp, and gawd love 'em, tillers.

I've found that the difficulty in docking is directly proportionate to the "outstanding mortgage" on the boat. or, the value of the boat that you're far too close to.
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